1. Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 2 Pro
Like the ThinkPad Yoga, the IdeaPad Yoga 2 can be used in four different ways. It ups the ante with a frankly ridiculous 3,200x1,800-pixel touchscreen display as well as a 720P HD webcam, 8GB of RAM and either an i3, i5 or i7 Intel processor. Not too heavy either, at 1.39kg. Expensive, but extremely capable.
2. Toshiba Kira-101
By no means the cheapest, but the Toshiba Kira-101 has a highly detailed 2,540x1,400-pixel IPS display, 256GB SSD, 8GB of RAM and an Intel i7. The all-metal magnesium construction only adds to the appeal. Expensive, but it feels as such.
3. Microsoft Surface Pro 3
The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is technically a tablet hybrid, but it can act as an ultrabook. The detachable keyboard with trackpad, full Windows 8.1 experience and touchscreen make it difficult to ignore. It's reasonably priced alongside the Apple MacBook Air, too, and arguably as stylish and well built. Powerful, too, thanks to yet more Intel action.
4. Samsung Ativ Book 9 Plus
Samsung make some impressive laptops and so an impressive ultrabook is hardly surprising. The Ativ Book 9 Plus has a full HD 13.3-inch display, 11-hour battery life, Intel i5 processor and a slim design. Although aging a bit, it's a strong device if you can find one at a good price.
5. HP Spectre 13
The HP Spectre 13 is a well thought out ultrabook. It has backlit keys so you can use it in the dark, a highly detailed QHD 13.3-inch display (four times more pixels than a 720p display) and nine hours of battery life. Brushed aluminium makes it able to survive a working day, while the hefty trackpad lets you make use of gestures in Windiws 8.
6. Dell XPS 11
Perhaps not the best ultrabook in the world, but its cheap price and hybrid tablet ways will find a home. It has a really sharp display (2,560x1,440-pixel) and a reliably sensitive touchscreen, which compliments Windows 8 nicely. The carbon fibre body and svelte proportions, meanwhile, help combat Dell's lack of trendiness.
7. Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga
Yoga may seem a strange name for an ultrabook, but the reasoning is sound. The Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga can be used in four different ways, ranging from laptop to a stand. This is down to a rotatable 12.5-inch display. Processing is taken care of by an Intel i3 or i5 and a minimum of 4GB of RAM so expect strong performance.
8. Acer Aspire S3
The Acer Aspire S3 has an aluminium case, special cooling technology to keep heat at bay, Nvidia graphics and an Intel processor so it can handle a variety of tasks on the move without kicking up a fuss. It can resume in a second, which means you can get back to work in no time at all. A 13.3-inch display and 500GB hard drive rounds off the package.
9. Acer Aspire S7
Another pricey ultrabook, but you get a lot for your money. The 2,560x1,440-pixel IPS display is, frankly, a stunner, while the proportions are enviably svelte. A Haswell Intel processor means it can handle tasks without issue and is more energy efficient, improving battery life. Illuminated keys, a stylish design and a near-silent computing experience make it a winner.
10. Sony Vaio Duo 13
The Vaio Duo is so called because it has a little trick up its sleeve – it’s a hybrid Ultrabook with a keyboard that slides under the screen so you can use it as a tablet. It’s an alternative to the 360-degree hinge of an Ultrabook like the Lenovo Yoga. When it first appeared on the scene, it was borderline as to whether we could recommend it because of the price. Now that the price has dropped, it’s a far better buy, while the hardware is terrific. It’s a supreme portable device for those who need to present or demo while on the move but who also need the power and reliability of a traditional clamshell laptop.
11. Samsung Series 7 Ultra
This mid-range Ultrabook (some would say it’s low-end in the Ultrabook world) hits a terrific price point. The Intel Core i5-powered unit also has a lovely little trick up its sleeve, with a dedicated AMD Radeon HD 8500M graphics chip. This is a laptop with some real graphic clout, and the Full HD display is driven with ease. It is a little heavier than almost all of its rivals here at 1.6kg but, hey, you need to spend a whack more to shed some of those grams. The best thing about the Series 7 Ultra though? You still get the Ultrabook look and great performance for a price that won’t get you restrained by your bank manager.
12. Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus
Another Ultrabook focusing on high design, the strangely-monikered ATIV Book 9 Plus only loses marks for its high price and the included bloatware. The chassis hasn’t change much compared to the previous model, but this really doesn’t matter. It is incredible, especially with the excellent build quality we’ve come to expect from Samsung. We loved using it, carrying it (it’s less than 1.4kg) and showing the retina display-beating 3,200 x 1,800 display off to people. It’s also extremely thin at less than 14mm. The first of the super-HD resolution Ultrabooks, it hasn’t lost any of its shine. However, the price tag might convince you otherwise.
13. Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro
Lenovo’s Yoga line-up takes the Ultrabook concept and runs with it – forming a 13.3-inch laptop-tablet hybrid that simply demands your attention. The design is striking - the Yoga 2 can be folded into a tablet mode, a tent mode for standing up and finally a standard laptop clamshell. Central to this is a high resolution QHD+ (3,200 x 1,800) display that stuns and Windows 8.1 for a decent desktop and tablet experience. Latest-generation Intel Core processors are also fitted as standard. The only downside is that its battery life isn’t that great, but this is still a complete winner of a laptop.
£1,000 | Buy it now from Lenovo
14. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Touch
Some may believe the ThinkPad is a design classic, but even if you don’t you have to admire the longevity of this line-up of tough corporate notebooks. This 14-inch touchscreen w clocks in around the 20mm mark and follows on from the original 2012 X1 Carbon version of this workhorse laptop. Of course, everything has been updated, and you now get Windows 8 as standard. Performance is key to the X1 Carbon’s appeal, as is the 1.5kg weight – remarkable for such a tough notebook. The one downer is the price – you’ll need to be travelling a lot for work to justify its purchase.
£1,100 | Buy it now from Lenovo
15. Dell XPS 13
You might be thinking this laptop has been around for a while – you’d be wrong. While the chassis is similar to the older model, it’s an all-new unit inside. You get Intel Core processors of varying types (all from Intel’s latest range), at least 8GB of RAM and a responsive, tactile keyboard which is great for typing long-form documents. Then there’s the Full HD 1080p 13-inch touchscreen to work alongside the included Windows 8.1. While the XPS 13 isn’t the most stunning-looking of all the Ultrabooks, it’s still brilliantly thin and light and, for us, is one of our favourite laptops available today.
£900 | Buy it now from Dell
16. Asus Zenbook UX301
The Zenbook was the original Ultrabook, trotted out at every opportunity to promote Intel’s new brand. This 13.3-inch latest-generation version is known as the Zenbook Infinity in some territories and the rather dull UX301 in the UK. This 1.38kg marvel not only has a wonderful Full HD 1080p touchscreen display, but there’s also an expensive option to have a whopping 2,560 x 1,440 WQHD version, too. You also get a choice of latest-generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors, up to 8GB of memory and a scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass lid. The metallic look and feel of the original Zenbook has also been updated, with a silky smooth ceramic glass finish around the keyboard, sides and underside. You do pay for the high class experience, of course, but what an experience it is.
17. Acer S3
This Ultrabook from Acer has been refreshed borrowing a few design features from its older brother, the Aspire S7. This lightweight machine now sports a 1,366 x 768 HD touch screen that can swivel up to 180 degrees with the added bonus of a Nvidia's GeForce 735M graphics card. The power has also been bulked up with an Intel Haswell processor and improved battery life. This should rectify some previous S3 faults and prove a viable competitor for other sub £1000 Ultrabooks.
18. Asus Vivobook s400
Stylish and slim, this Ultrabook packs some strong specs, while keeping the weight below two kilos to make sure it slips easily into your bag. Front and centre is a 14-inch HD touchscreen, while everything is powered by an Intel Core i5 processor. To ensure the maximum amount of storage, yet stil keeping it running quick, Asus has paired a 500GB HDD with a 24GB SSD cache drive. The battery lasts around six hours, which, while not top-of-the-line, should be sufficient to get you through a working day.
19. Toshiba Kirabook
Boasting a 2560 x 1440 PixelPure LED backlit display, this Ultrabook fully immerses you in the colour-fuelled environment of Windows 8. Powering the beautiful screen is an Intel Core i5 dual-core processor, 8GB DDR3 RAM and there’s a 256GB SSD for all your files. Harman Kardon provide the speakers – giving that extra oomph, there’s an HDMI port for connecting to your TV and even an eco button which will cut your power consumption without performance taking a hit.
20. Dell Inspiron 15z
While it’s unlikely to win any awards for its industrial design, this Ultrabook from Dell is still a worthy purchase thanks to a low price and great touchscreen. The 720p Truelife display reacts well to pokes and prods, while the Intel Core i5 processor and 6GB RAM keeps Windows 8 running smooth. Under the chassis is a 500GB HDD, paired with a 32GB SSD for ultra fast boot-ups.
21. HP Spectre XT TouchSmart
Amongst a slew of new HP ultrabooks, the 15-inch laptop and tablet in one is the pick of the bunch. Running on Windows 8 out of the box, the capacitive multitouch display is primed for the tablet optimized OS and with IPS technology delivers great viewing angles. At just 7-inches thick it’s slightly more portly than the HP Spectre XT and as well as USB 3.0 and HDMI ports also includes a Thunderbolt port so it will play nice with Apple devices.
22. Dell Latitude E7440
Aimed at the business market, yet still for people who like to keep the weight low and the style high, this Ultrabook comes running the latest 4th generation Haswell chips from Intel, promising increased performance, along with superb battery life. The 500GB HDD provides plenty of space to store all those vital documents and spreadsheets, while the 15-inch high-res, LED display produces crisp text and sharp images. There’s also a myriad of options to keep your files as secure as possible, including a remote wipe tool, fingerprint scanner and Dell’s FIPS-certified self-encrypting drives.
23. HP Envy Spectre 14
At 20mm thick, and 1.8kg heavy, the HP Envy Spectre is fairly hefty for an ultrabook. But we're always told that it's what's inside that counts, and HP were certainly thinking along the same lines when they loaded the Spectre with Beats Audio and a gorgeous 1600 x 900 pixel 14-inch screen. Not the most powerful ultrabook out there, but there's no false advertising here - it'll make your friends green with envy.